French Competition Authority to market test Canalsat-TPS merger

The investigation services of the French Competition Authority have begun a market test to gain stakeholder views on possible solutions that could address the effects of the TPS-Canalsat merger.

The market test will focus on whether any anti-competitive effects have resulted from the merger and will include some measures that were suggested by market players. It will, says the Authority, provide, in a transparent way, “the opportunity for interested stakeholders to share their analysis on remedies that could be deemed necessary at the end of the procedure.”

Interested stakeholders can submit their comments by Wednesday 6 June 2012.

Following the 2007 merger and acquisition by Canal+ group of TPS activities, 59 commitments had been implemented by the parties. On 20 September 2011, the Competition Authority established that 10 of these commitments were breached by the parties and decided to withdraw its decision to authorise the merger.

As a consequence, on 24 October 2011 the Vivendi and Canal Plus groups, which simultaneously filed an appeal against the Authority’s withdrawal decision before French Administrative Supreme Court, Conseil d’Etat, changed the terms of their acquisition of sole control of TPS and CanalSatellite. The application was then completed by the parties at the request of the investigation services. On 28 March 2012, an in-depth examination of the merger was opened.

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